How we save thousands a year using the library

We live on a budget. Shocking, right? A blog about frugality and we live on a budget??? Who would've guessed?

I was, for time, a little embarrassed by this. I mean after all it is not polite to talk about money. Then I started wearing it as a badge of honor. I am cheap and unafraid to admit it!

But, I do worry that the peoplefrom Extreme Cheapskate are going to call me.

You may think that the House of Senn is a boring place. And maybe it is, but I love our simple and quiet life.

But we aren't bored. With two boys it is easy to stay entertained. And when we do seek entertainment we often get it for free... at the library.

I have done the math, and my family saves over $1,000 annually just by using the library.

Here is how:

We are big readers. I read about 2 books a week and listen to another one every two weeks.

Jason also listens to books during his commute. 99% of these come from the library. Ebooks, hardcover, audio books, you name it.

Books and ebooks: 

I figure that I save around $500 each year just by checking out books from the library. And that's on the low side.

If I paid just $5 for each book that's 2 books a week and 52 weeks a year.

That comes to $520 annually.

But we all know books cost more than that. (And that's fine! Books are worth money. Authors should get paid!)

Since my library lets me borrow ebooks for my Kindle, I can use still enjoy my ereader. 


Then I consider what an audible account would cost me. We listed to 3-4 audio books a month. The two book credit account on audible is $22.98 monthly.

So that saves us $275.76 a year!


Just yesterday I was in the library and I picked up a copy of "Ender's Game" on DVD. I had considered renting it at the Redbox, but I saved myself $1.20. 

If you rent just one movie a week from the Redbox, that is $62.40 annually. 

Children's Books:

Okay, I don't even know where to begin to calculate this because my children have an extensive bookshelf at home and the books all have varying costs.

We check out about 5 a week for them, so I will say $3.99 each would be about... $1037.

I had to check my math on that one a lot!

Live entertainment and an indoor "playground":

On Monday I took the boys to see a puppet show at the library. This was not your grandma's puppet show. This was a high quality, professional event sponsored by the library. 

I also take them there for story time where they have crafts and songs and dancing and games. Then once or twice a week we go and play with the trains, blocks, puzzles and legos. I can't even begin to price this... 

All in all we save almost $2,000 each year just by going to the library for our entertainment. 

We have lots of books that we own at home and I treasure these books. But I cannot possibly buy all the books I want to read. 

And for me, the library is like the poor girl's Amazon. I just log on to the library website, find the items I want to "order" put in a hold request and then wait for them to be delivered to the front desk for me. 

I do love the library. My family has chosen to go without a lot of things to be debt free, to put away for our children's education and to save for a house. But I wouldn't want to live in a world with no library. 

How much does your library save you?